SkillsUSA returned to Kansas City on June 23-27, 2012 for its 48th
annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career
and technical education students.
More than 15,000 students,
teachers, education leaders and representatives from more than 1,100
national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions
participated in the event with 94 hands-on skill and leadership
Hundreds of automotive students gathered there for a showdown for all the gold. Armed with their tool boxes and spray guns, they represented the top collision repair and automotive refinishing students from around the country.
When the dust cleared, four students claimed the gold medals, taking home the country’s top honors in their competitions, along with scholarships, prize money and new tools.
Automotive Refinishing Technology
The automotive refinishing technology competition included surface preparation, spray gun operation, paint mixing, matching and applying, solving paint application problems, determining finish defects, causes and cures, and utilizing safety precautions. The winners were:
Spencer Cook (Gold) – High School
Mid-Coast School of Technology
Derek Meehl (Gold) – Postsecondary
Saint Cloud Technical College
Saint Cloud, Minn.
James Chesser (Silver) – High School
Lewis & Clark Career Center
Saint Charles, Mo.
Aaron Dressler (Silver) – Postsecondary
Penn College of Tech
Nathan Aguiar (Bronze) – High School
Fall River, Mass.
Jessica Crowley (Bronze) – Postsecondary
College of Western Idaho
"I plan to initially work on street cars, but would really like to get into custom refinishing," said Meehl. "I’d like to be like Chip Foose."
Collision Repair Technology
In the collision repair competition, students were tasked with straightening, welding, repairing a plastic bumper and conducting a structural analysis. There also was a written test on estimating and structural analysis, plus an ASE exam.
Jason Lucius (Gold) – High School
Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Tech Center – Sentinel
John Stanton (Gold) – Postsecondary
Jackson T. Winslett (Silver) – High School
Alvin High School
Michael Annis (Silver) – Postsecondary
James Johnson (Bronze) – High School
Center of Applied Tech North
Owen Boyle (Bronze) – Postsecondary
Penn College of Technology